The Cross of Christ separates the living from the dead

“After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also.” John 14:19, NASB

When our Lord spoke of the “world” in John 14:19, He was talking about those in this temporal existence who are not believers. They are not Christians, even though some in that group may profess to be so. In this context, He was also referring to the Jewish religious leaders of His own day who so opposed Him and His ministry, and who would continue to oppose the early Church, as is seen all through the books of Acts for example. What is it that separates those alive in this world from those who are not is that the living truly see Jesus for who He really is, believe and are saved, while those who refuse to do so, reject the gospel, and remain in their sins – even if they may develop a form of Christianity that suits them, but is absent of the real Jesus.

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Warner Bros. pulls Hillsong movie from schedule

According to Christian Headlines, “Hillsong – Let Hope Rise,” which is based on the infamous Australian-based Hillsong church and one of the world’s biggest worship bands, has been pulled from the Warner Brothers schedule. No explanation was given as to why the documentary was pulled.

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Duke University to broadcast Muslim call to prayer declaring ‘Allah is great’

According to Christian News Network:

Concerns are being raised after Duke University’s student paper announced this week that the Muslim call to prayer will be broadcast from university’s bell tower each Friday.

“Members of the Duke Muslim Students Association will chant a weekly call-to-prayer from the Duke Chapel bell tower beginning Friday, Jan. 16,” Duke Today outlined in a report on Tuesday. “The chant, called the ‘adhan,’ announces the start of the group’s jummah prayer service, which takes place in the chapel basement each Friday at 1 p.m.”

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If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. Matthew 16:24–25, NASB

The Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is a message given to be passed on as “Good News” of the completed work of Christ on behalf of those He came to save. The message is about His incarnation, His perfect life, His death on the cross, His three days and nights in the tomb, and His resurrection. All of these things were attested to by witnesses. The resurrection is the proof that our Lord is God and that the work of the atonement is complete. Those who effectually hear the Gospel, believe it, receive it by grace through faith and repent as they turn to Christ as Lord and Saviour. As is made clear in Ephesians 2:1–10, there is no one is able to do this on their own, God must intervene making then alive in Christ who were once dead in their sins so they could believe and be saved.

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Why are the elect chosen?

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. Ephesians 1:3–6, NASB

Not long ago I listened to an attack on “Reformation Theology” in which the preacher based his entire case upon one single charge. He said that a Monergistic interpretation of the Bible is based upon a faulty presupposition. That presupposition is in two parts. The first part is that we say man is dead in trespasses and sins and incapable of obeying all commands to come to God in his own ability. The second part is that we say God takes the initiative and regenerates those whom he has elected before the foundation of the world, enabling them to repent and believe and come to Christ and be justified by faith.

This fellow totally ignored the fact that this theology is based upon God’s free choice before the foundation of the world, and the redemptive work of Christ in the obedient life and keeping the Law and going to the cross to the become the propitiation for those elect. That’s right, he totally ignored what was actually accomplished at the cross. Instead, his interpretation of all those “difficult” passages like John 6:44 are best to be seen as God’s people being those who come to him in repentance and then he saves them. So, totally ignoring all these passages about election and imputation, he says salvation is a totally synergistic system which man kicks-starts by first coming to God in repentance, and then God takes over from there. He gave examples of genuine converts he had seen who came in brokenness, and he could tell they were saved because they grasped the truth and walked in repentance, et cetera. He contrasted that with false converts who were simply religious who never walked in repentance. Right, could it be that he is confusing the order of things? Could it be that those he is seeing coming in repentance have been regenerated by God first, and now are able to believe because they are the elect of God?

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Pastor defines his identity not by his same-sex attraction, but in Christ

Christianity.com’s Ryan Hoselton penned a refreshing story about a pastor who’s attracted to members of the same-sex yet he chose to wed a woman. Pastor Allan Edwards says he believes that the center of Christianity is the Bible. After completing a thorough study of the scriptures, he concluded that practicing homosexuality is a sin. Thus, he couldn’t simultaneously follow the Bible and his same-sex attraction.

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Irish priest announces he’s gay during mass

According to Christian Headlines:

An Irish priest has made international headlines for his announcement that he is gay during a Mass service.

Christian Today reports Father Martin Dolan of the Church of St. Nicholas of Myra was urging parishioners to support gay marriage in the upcoming Irish referendum when he said, “I’m gay myself.” The announcement was reportedly met with a standing ovation from the congregation.

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John 1:1 and the deity of Christ

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word. John 1:1, translated from the NA28 Greek text

εν αρχη ην ο λογος και ο λογος ην προς τον θεον και θεος ην ο λογος John 1:1, Textus Receptus

εν αρχη ην ο λογος και ο λογος ην προς τον θεον και θεος ην ο λογος John 1:1, Tischendorf New Testament

εν αρχη ην ο λογος και ο λογος ην προς τον θεον και θεος ην ο λογος  John 1:1, Wescott and Hort New Testament

Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος, καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν, καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος. John 1:1, NA28

We live in a time where truth is under attack from every side. Even amongst those who claim to be Christians there is a growing number demanding that we hold God’s truth as relative in order to unoffensive to everyone. We hold that John 1:1 teaches that the Apostle John was teaching, inspired by the Holy Spirit, that Jesus Christ is deity, is a member of the Holy Trinity, and pre-existed His incarnation as a man.

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You will not be able to serve the Lord, for He is a holy God

Then Joshua said to the people, “You will not be able to serve the Lord, for He is a holy God. He is a jealous God; He will not forgive your transgression or your sins. If you forsake the Lord and serve foreign gods, then He will turn and do you harm and consume you after He has done good to you. Joshua 24:19–20, NASB

One of the products of the growing apostasy of the Church in our time that is especially tragic is the loss of the understanding of God’s Holiness. Several years ago I wrote a post about our great need to walk in fear of God. Some of the comments I received on that post were heartbreaking. Some insisted that Jesus was their buddy or their homeboy or their ‘bro’ and he loved them so much that it really did not matter how they lived. My brethren, God has not changed. He is immutable and perfect. He neither changes nor has any need to do so.

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From where does saving faith come?

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8–9, NASB

In my last post, _The deceitfulness of human reason_, we looked at how those who are in Christ are works of God, not works of human reason or works of men of any kind or sort. The focus of that post was primarily on the Sovereignty of God and the futility of those who are simply religious and who attempt to reason away the good doctrines of God because they are offended by them.

Why did I concentrate on that? I have been experiencing this a great deal lately from many quarters. I learned a long time ago to pay attention when something like that happens continually over a short period of time. It is time for me to focus, again, on the root of the problem behind that, so I wrote that post. After I wrote it, I was contacted by a certain person who has been doing so in a shadowy way over the last several weeks, but I have not posted any of his/her comments nor have I taken the bait to get into another fruitless “debate” on this subject, which has been completely settled.

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New Age pandemic in the church

Many Christians today are partaking in astrology, unbiblical meditation, so-called Christian yoga, and calling on angels, in spite of the fact that Scripture clearly teaches that believers must not do as the pagans do. Marsha West lays out for us some of the many of the practices God deems evil. View article →

Southern Baptist leader speaks out against Newsweek’s ‘hit piece’ cover story

Christian News Network reports:

A prominent Southern Baptist leader is speaking out against what he views as Newsweek’s recent “hit piece” against Christians after its December cover story took aim at evangelical Christianity and the inerrancy of the Scriptures.

Albert Mohler, the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, wrote an article this week expressing disappointment in Newsweek for its decision to run “The Bible: So Misunderstood It’s a Sin” as it cover story to conclude 2014.

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The deceitfulness of human reason

But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men of depraved mind, rejected in regard to the faith. 2 Timothy 3:1–8, NASB

Genuine or authentic Christianity is not a world religion. Instead, it is a fellowship of believers who have been justified by Faith. There are many professing Christians who would not fit that definition. They may be religious. They may have made a “profession of faith,” but they are not regenerate nor do they have The Holy Spirit. Why? They have not repented and submitted to the Lordship of Christ. They are not New Creations through the washing of Regeneration, which quickens believers from being spiritually dead to spiritually alive in Christ (Ephesians 2:1; Colossians 2:13).

Saving faith is not the result of human reason. It is a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8–9). Knowing God and obeying God requires an active faith that is outside of human reason. Over last several days I have been in several discussions with some folks that were obviously very bright, but their arguments were based entirely within intellect and totally outside of faith. After a few rounds of back and forth responses it becomes very obvious that unless God opens their hearts to the truth they simply will not believe it. They will even say things like I and those who fight the fight along side me have no regard for the truth or that we present truth outside of the love of God. How do we answer a charge like that when all we do is present the truth as commanded in sacred scripture? They have their own understanding of the truth that they have formulated via human reason, which looks at Biblical Truth as relative because it makes demands that are outside of what they can understand or see as fair or right.

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